I’m fascinated by cases where, in order to achieve something, it’s better to focus on something else instead. Here’s Viktor Frankl’s take on success and happiness: “Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; … More That which cannot be pursued
I remember hearing somewhere about a guy who resolved never to buy a bottle of wine costing more than $10—not because the more expensive wine didn’t taste better, but because he didn’t want his own taste to develop to the point that he had to buy expensive wine if he wanted to enjoy it at all. Clara … More Curating contentment
I remember growing up reading a cross-stitch poem on my parents’ wall: Who hath a friend with whom to share hath double cheer and one-half care. The sense of “care” used here, and in similar sayings like “not a care in the world”, really seems more like what I’d call “worry”, and not so much that … More Worry less, care more
I got a traffic ticket for jaywalking once. (I didn’t realize it was actually illegal to cross on a don’t walk, even if there were no cars coming… hence my careful reading of that section in the Minnesota driver’s handbook when we moved here.) It was not a big deal—the cop takes your information, you … More Why we experience regret
Volunteering is like eating vegetables—should you do it even if you hate it, or should you concentrate on the kind you enjoy? … More Whether to enjoy serving others
I’m what you could call shy. Here’s what happens when I am in a conversation with people I don’t know very well. My joints start to feel stiff and my breath gets shallow. Everything feels hard to move and I have to concentrate on breathing normally and not clutching one arm with the other. When … More On not exuding confidence
“I should hang onto this piece of paper, but I don’t want to get out the filing stuff…” “I should get out the packing list and double-check, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything…” “If I leave now, I’ll be early, so I’ll get back on the computer and try to just check one thing … More "I feel stupid."